Bride and Groom Kim and Pete's wedding took place at the historic 13th century manor, Maunsel House, in Somerset. The rain held off long enough for them to have a beautiful outdoor ceremony by the pergola on the grounds, with llamas roaming around in honour of Pete’s cricket team, and it was just pure perfection. Kim was an absolute knockout in a stunning two piece Laure de Sagazan gown, and groom Pete looked dashing in a navy suit and Panama hat. The classic blue and white flowers, and DIY wedding stationery added to the beauty of this magical outdoor reception, and the wooden llama race, band and DJ ensured things were lively, fun and totally them. As always Maureen de Preez fine art photography style doesn't disappoint, so sit back relax and enjoy all the merriment.
DressKim the Bride: I love the relaxed French look and I wanted to keep the whole day relaxed so I opted for a style to match. I fell in love with the designer Laure de Sagazan straight away, her brushed silk fabrics are to die for. Simple, French, chic and something I could dance in until the early hours. In a similar vein I went for comfort with the shoes and a blue accent to fit the decor. As for the jewellery, Myia Bonner is a family friend; she designed a gorgeous wedding band to fit around my engagement ring and I then bought one of her simple gold necklaces with a similar curve that mirrored my ring nicely. Finally I went all out with a pair of statement earrings from Zoe and Morgan; large drop moons with filigree detailing. With a simple dress I couldn’t resist.
Grooms AttirePete wore a bespoke navy suit that he already had. He is known for his eccentric pocket squares and Panama hats so those were both essentials and we thought a knitted tie would fit with the relaxed look we were aiming for. In standard Pete form he broke his toe the morning before the wedding and it was too swollen for shoes, so Jack Wills flip flops it was. He’s not one for conforming to the norms so it added a little humour to the styling of the day.
The VenueMaunsel House was recommended by a friend whose brother got married there. It was the first and only venue we visited and we fell in love immediately. The eccentric decor, old English pub and the al fresco dining option sold it to us. We loved that we could have the whole day on one site whilst having different areas for each part of the day. Walking into the pergola dining area was like entering a secret garden. Magical.
Colour Scheme/DecorMuted French blues, green foliage and rustic hues of whites and creams was the colour scheme. Again, inspiration was drawn from rustic French country houses and the British countryside. We wanted to keep it simple with a touch of colour. Maunsel house is so decadent that it didn’t need much decorating. Oh and the Llamas, peacocks and ducks added to the country feel. Pete’s cricket team is called the Llamas and 10 or so years ago they all vowed to have Llamas at their weddings. With most of the team married and no Llama appearances made, Pete thought it his duty. They were fantastic! We went a bit more rock and roll for the dance floor with gold star and moon balloons and little gold star garlands.
FlowersWe kept the table flowers simple with a runner of eucalyptus. Bouquets included eucalyptus, eringeum, scabiosa, white roses, wax flowers and a hint of blue with the delphiniums. The florist constructed a beautiful arch to frame the ceremony, which looked gorgeous in the photos. Bridesmaids had wax flower crowns for a bit of continuity. Again, a French influence along with some of my favourite flowers.
Wedding Party FashionI wanted the bridesmaids to feel comfortable and I wanted their outfits to mirror their personalities and styles so I asked them to choose their own. Something cream, white or blue and I wanted them to be as different as they liked. They all looked fab and I am a huge fan of the mismatched look. Our gorgeous flower girl Lottie and page boy Harry (niece and nephew) had their outfits chosen by their Mum (sister in law) who was also a bridesmaid. Again a relaxed French style, nothing formal. And Harry carried his badger which held some sentimental value for us both. Groomsmen wore their own suits, with mismatched ties and pocket squares all in different shades of blue.
CeremonyThe ceremony was conducted by a registrar from Taunton. Entrance music was an instrumental version of ‘here comes the sun’ which was quite fitting as rain turned to sun just as I walked down the aisle. We wanted to keep the ceremony short, sweet and non-religious so we just had three short readings: an excert from Peter Pan, a poem by Pam Ayres and a poem by Edward Monkton. The scene of friends, family, the gorgeous flower arch and llamas casually grazing in the background as I walked down the aisle was very special. Our exit music was ‘glass of champagne’ by Sailor. We wanted something fun that we could dance down the aisle to.
EntertainmentIt is a family tradition to have some form of competitive entertainment included in the wedding day. As racing the real Llamas was not an option, we commissioned father of the bride to build a set of six delightful little wooden llamas on wheels and held a Llama race. It was held after the wedding breakfast, names were picked from a hat and with the bride giving a running commentary, the Llamas were off. The winner was awarded a bottle of bubbly. Highly competitive and great fun! The first dance was a medley of ‘unchained melody’ for a slow dance, into ‘got my mind set on you’ by George Harrison which went off with a bang - literally - a mass of confetti bombs marked the transition. The band for the first part of the evening ‘The Mustangs’ were Brilliant. They looked the part and got the whole wedding party on the dance floor. Once the Mustangs had finished their set, friends Dj Dan Harder and one of the groomsmen Charlie took over with some epic DJ sets which went on until 3am. We also set up a photo booth in the library and left a box of hats and props for photos. Maunsel House were very relaxed about guests borrowing hats and decommissioned guns for the photos, which provided hours of entertainment.
FoodThe canapés and wedding breakfast were both catered by Maunsel House. Cheddar cheese soufflé to start, followed by a beef Wellington main and almond meringue nests with summer berries for pudding. We supplied our own wine from M & S, including a lovely English Champagne for reception and toasts. Sausage sandwiches were put on as a snack in the evening. Our dear friend commissioned the very talented Makiko Searle to create our incredible cake. We wanted something simple yet striking and tasty - it was perfect. The flowers on top were all sugar craft, based on the bridal bouquet.
PhotographerThe wonderful Maureen du Preez agreed to capture our day in her beautifully artistic and journalistic style. We were lucky enough to meet Maureen at one of the bridesmaids Anna’s wedding. She was a very easy choice for us. We love her photographic style but also her very understated presence on the Day. She is calm, friendly and subtle. She suited our wedding style perfectly.
DIYMost of the wedding was DIY. It was unique in that Pete (the groom) was in charge of planning everything apart from the artistic and creative elements, which was left to me Kimberley (the bride). We worked with our strengths - Pete owns a software company and his area of expertise is project management; I am a teacher come artist with a passion for calligraphy, print and illustration - a great wedding planning partnership. The wedding stationery was my big DIY project - probably one of the most important aspects of wedding planning for me.
- Work together and listen to each others ideas - the wedding should epitomise both the bride and groom.
- Work with each others strengths/skills.
- Enjoy the planning.
- Don’t take it too seriously - the planning and the day should be fun. Relax and enjoy yourself from start to finish.